Celebrating 100% NSW wine and an expanded beverage collection

23 Nov 2021

Since ICC Sydney’s inception the team has made a commitment to not only deliver world class service, but also to make a positive and lasting impact in the community. I’m proud to say, that our wine list has featured 100% locally sourced New South Wales (NSW) wines for almost two years.

Celebrating our NSW wine offering, ICC Sydney has released its fourth episode in its 100% Local docuseries. To view the newly released fourth episode, ‘Old Vines’ showcasing NSW’s established wine regions and winemakers of enormous experience, visit: https://www.iccsydney.com.au/plan/culinary/winemakers.

We have steadily built on a strong foundation as five years ago more than 80% wines within our selection were sourced from NSW producers. In 2019, we increased our offering to more than 90% local and reached a 100% commitment by early 2020.

As the gateway to NSW regional areas and indeed further afield in Australia, Sydney has an important role to play in showcasing the very best of our local suppliers to interstate, and international visitors. Situated in the cosmopolitan city of Sydney, ICC Sydney endeavours to introduce patrons to the world class, yet unique wines of NSW – an experience that brings the best of region to them whilst at the Centre.

Choosing local reduces environmental and social impacts

The benefits of presenting a 100% locally sourced, NSW wine list goes beyond the immediate economic boost that flow through to our state’s wine producers. From an environmental sustainability perspective it’s been beneficial to see the positive impacts that come with sourcing local wines, including the reduced freight requirements and related carbon emissions when compared to the impact of importing wines from interstate or abroad, including from neighbouring countries such as New Zealand.

The specific social impacts of showcasing world class NSW wine should not go unmentioned. With a significant amount of the 2020 vintage wiped out due to the impact of bushfires and COVID related restrictions on travel and client demand, supporting NSW based wine producers has never been more critical than in the last 12-18 months. During the last few months of reduced trade, ICC Sydney’s team supported producers as much as possible by highlighting the winemakers and their premium products across our far-reaching touchpoints. We are delighted to now be welcoming back in person events and attendees to sample local wines firsthand.

100% Local Docuseries

When introducing a 100% Local wine offering to the event organisers and attendees we engage with, we embarked on a journey to NSW regions including the Hunter, Central Tablelands, Murray, Riverina and South East NSW. As part of this tour I met with many wine producers to develop a deeper understanding of the impacts of the seasons, climate change and production methos for their wines.

Documenting our exploration through the regions, we backed the wine collection’s release with a four part series revealing the stories behind our talented producers. You are invited to view the 100% Local docuseries here: Winemakers | ICC Sydney

Showcasing the best of the region

ICC Sydney has enjoyed a long standing partnership with the NSW Wine Association, and recently, was honoured to be named as a NSW Wine Star in the 2020 NSW Sommelier’s Wine List Awards. More importantly it was terrific to participate in the NSW Wine Association’s program where our local, high quality, diverse wines are celebrated.

The very best wines that NSW’s Hunter Valley wine region has on offer have been announced recently at the Hunter Valley Wine Show. We were very proud that many of ICC Sydney’s Hunter Valley wine producers were named as winners at this prestigious event. The Orange Wine Show was judged last week and I will be in this wonderful regional town to award the trophies that we sponsor.

So important is the venue’s support of the NSW wine community, ICC Sydney will host the NSW Wine Awards for the third consecutive year in November 2021. Here, Beverage Floor Manager Mitchell Beattie will debut as a judge reviewing entries from across NSW’s wine regions. Mitchell is a passionate culinary professional who was recently granted his Wine and Spirit Education Trust Level 3 certification which he achieved with distinction.

It gave me great pride to judge the Australia and New Zealand Boutique Wine Awards virtually recently. This was an incredible show to be part of, the wines of course were exceptional and it was an absolute privilege to be part of such an experienced team of judges, led by Legend of the Vine Huon Hooke and featuring three Masters of Wine. It’s no surprise that the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir classes were outstanding and I also saw some great examples of Semillon and Shiraz.

Expanding our beverage collection

Never one to rest on our laurels, ICC Sydney’s team constantly evolves the beverage collection. We recently added an alcohol free cocktail package to the menu collection.

The alcohol free package features:

  • Red, white, sparkling and rosé wines
  • Five varieties of alcohol free beers
  • A range of cocktails featuring Lyre’s non-alcoholic spirits

We’ve seen a striking uptake of alcohol-free beverage options of late, especially during the heavily restricted periods of the pandemic and are anticipating non-alcoholic options will be here to stay as they provide diverse and enticing options for attendees looking for a sophisticated drink – one that is suitable for stand up or sit down occassions, as an aperitif or at any time of the day or evening. The alcohol-free range offers uniquely flavorsome options with a look, taste and aroma much like alcohol.

Craft beers and ciders on the rise

One of the first convention centres to embrace and include craft beers in its beverage collection, ICC Sydney has further expanded it’s offering with the introduction of Sobah Beer, available in all of our beverage packages. This new range is an alcohol free craft beer proudly sourced from a First Nations supplier. Sobah Beer’s aim aligns with that of ICC Sydney to raise cultural awareness and promote First Nations’ arts, language and history, and we are pleased to able to further elevate this goal through the introduction of the Sobah range.

Craft beer has continued to grow in popularity with Stone and Wood Pacific Ale the drink most requested drink by our clients whose guests are looking for more interesting and complex flavours across all beverage categories.  Our team recently assisted at the Sydney Royal Beer and Cider Show and found a number of exceptional new local products.

I am delighted to lead a team who passionately stay abreast of the developments and trends across wines, beers and alcohol free options in a venue that proudly supports these local industries. We look forward to working closely with you to provide beverage options that will surprise and delight your attendees at your next event.

William Wilson
ICC Sydney, Food and Beverage Manager Sommelier